If you’ve never rolled a cucumber, I urge you to do so. These cucumber roll-ups with garlicky feta & mint filling make for a delicious refreshing summer starter, light lunch or barbecue accompaniment. They’re really easy to make, especially if you have the OXO Good Grips Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 at your disposal.
As we move from late spring into early summer, broad beans start to make an appearance here in the UK. I’m very fond of broad beans, but I know not everyone’s a fan. I can almost guarantee, however, that this minted broad bean spread will appeal to anyone who tries it.
A couple of weeks ago I made maple tofu skewers for a BBQ supper. They were a roaring success, as was the tahini sauce with clementines and smoked paprika that I made to accompany it. This recipe is another in my Flavours of the Middle East series.
Wild garlic is a forager’s favourite: it’s easy to see, easy to identify and easy to gather. It tastes great too if you’re a garlic lover like I am. The season is quite short, so time is of the essence. This year, for the first time, I made wild garlic pesto. It’s so good and so versatile, I’ve been using it in all sorts of recipes. More of that later.
I do love a good dip. They make a great starter to go with nibbles when entertaining, can form part of a mezze type meal and often make a great sandwich filling too. So when I was challenged to take part in a chip n dip exercise, by creating a dip, I was most definitely up for it. I also have an easy and rather nifty competition with a great prize, so do read on.
The Cranks Bible: a timeless collection of vegetarian recipes by Nadine Abensur is one of my treasured cookery books. I bought it when it was first published in 2001 and have taken inspiration from it ever since. Despite its frequent use as a bed time read, there are many recipes I’ve barely looked at. The one for aubergine purée with cumin pitot is one such, or in my more prosaic terminology, aubergine dip.
Our potatoes went in very late this year so we don’t yet have any to harvest. However a friend has just given us some of hers and whilst they were still fresh, eating them boiled with some delicious garlicky aioli seemed just the thing. And our garlic was ready to harvest.
If there was one crop other than lemons I wish we could grow easily in the UK, it would be avocados. I would have an orchard full of them. Not only are they buttery and delicious, but they are also quite good for you. High in potassium, the unsaturated fats are said to be healthy ones and they are relatively low in calories.
When I was sent a basket of ripe Peruvian Hass avocados, to say I was pleased was an understatement. I hadn’t known such bounty since CT and I worked on an avocado farm during our antipodean travels many years ago. We ate the fruit for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So in remembrance of times past, we cut into one almost immediately and had it spread on toast, just as we used to back on the farm when we used it as a butter substitute. Oh, how delicous. These avocados were particularly tasty with a gimme more creamy texture.
Guacamole has long been a favourite of mine and makes for a very tasty vegan dip and accompaniment to all sorts of dishes. But I also find avocados have an affinity to eggs – maybe it’s the shape. One of my favourite party dips is an egg and avocado one and as I hadn’t made this for ages, I thought it was about time it was resurrected. What better accompaniment than some homemade bread, juicy sweet homegrown tomatoes and some crisp lettuce.
The pitta pockets exhaled a chocolate fragrance on opening and were resileint enough to hold the contents. They had a soft and inviting texture and although thick were not in the least bit leathery – way better than any shop bought pitta breads I’ve had. The chocolate pitta also did a grand job of mopping up the juices of a vegetable stew. The avocado and egg dip was as delicious as I remember it. We both felt we could eat this again and again.
Cooking with Herbs over at Lavender and Lovage is all about chives this month, so although I’ve already sent one entry, I couldn’t resist sending this one too.
- 250g strong white flour
- 250g wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 scant tsp Himalayan pink rock salt
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tsp golden caster sugar
- 330ml warm water
Total time: Yield: 8
- 2 large boiled eggs
- 2 large avocados – stoned and peeled
- half a small onion – finely chopped
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- a good grinding black pepper
- 4 stalks chives – snipped
Yield: 8 servings
It’s not only National Vegetarian Week, but it’s National Yogurt Week too. Being both vegetarian and passionate about yogurt, I couldn’t let this go without a post. Nayna over at simply food recently mentioned making a caramelised onion and yogurt dip at an event. I was immediately struck by this excellent idea and thought I’d try and create my own version – with a chocolate twist, of course.